Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Book #14

Deadly Straits, by R.E. McDermott. Unabridged audio.

This is a modern espionage/terrorism novel in the style of Brad Thor, W.E.B. Griffin,  or Tom Clancy. What sets it apart is its focus on the high seas, where McDermott's extensive knowledge of naval matters and ship-building is clear. He is able to convey this knowledge in an engaging and plausible manner.
Management consultant (and part-time spy) Tom Dugan is sent on what turns out to be a truly globe-trotting mission to thwart a terrorist plot involving cutting off the world's oil supply. A long-time friend of Dugan's has been framed in the plot, and Dugan himself is considered guilty by association. He has to prove his own innocence by proving his friend's, while simultaneously trying to keep oil tankers around the world from blowing up. Along the way, there are naval battles, kidnappings, and shootouts. All the things you'd want in an espionage novel are here.

The scope of the novel is amazing, as the action takes place in England, Liberia, Malaysia, China, Panama, Russia, Chechnya, Venezuela, and the US, and probably a few locations that I have forgotten. There are so many places that the action takes place, and so many characters that perform those actions, it is a little hard to identify with any one character beyond Dugan.
McDermott does a good job keeping the action going, and the intricate plot actually seems realistic. Sometimes thrillers can go "over the top" with the villains' plot, giving us something totally unrealistic. But McDermott avoids this common pitfall. 

I will definitely pick up the sequel, Deadly Coast, in which Dugan and company take on the threat of Somali pirates.

Source: I received the Audible.com version of this novel directly from the author. We are scheduled to talk to him on an upcoming episode of the Book Guys Show podcast.

No comments:

Post a Comment